Houston may hire dog catcher

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – The Houston Board of Mayor and Aldermen are looking at hiring a dog-catcher on a contract basis to answer nuisance calls and trap dogs running loose in the city limits.

Houston has a dog ordinance requiring all dogs to be either penned or on a leash. If the city hires a dog-catcher, dogs picked up would be returned after payment of a $25 fine. The fine would rise to $50 and then $100 for each additional pickup. Dogs picked up four times would not be returned.

Bradley Gregory is currently under contract with Houlka and Pontotoc to answer nuisance calls and trap loose dogs.

“When I am called by the city or police I go and either catch the dog or set a live-trap,” said Gregory. “When I catch him I would carry it to a holding pen in Pontotoc where I would keep it 5- to 8-days. Then we turn them over to the animal shelter in Tupelo.”

The Tupelo shelter would try and place the animal but older or unhealthy animals that can’t be placed are euthanized, said Gregory. He said a key part of his job is to find the animal’s owner, if it has one.

Gregory would get $300 a month from the city and a portion of the fine from each animal caught.

Gregory said he would be on call 24-7 to answer vicious dog calls and other animal control calls. He explained he would be busy at first trapping strays and getting the public to pen their animals.

Gregory pointed out he is contract labor, reducing the city’s liability. He also said he has a dart-gun, his own truck and the equipment needed to catch street-smart dogs.

Read the details of this story and other events from this week’s Houston Board of Aldermen meeting in the Oct. 15 Chickasaw Journal.